Members receive cash during a meeting of the Mwema Haouzi Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) in Kidmini, Zanzibar, Tanzania (Special: CARE)

By Maria Saporta

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is giving a three-year, $6.8 million grant to Atlanta-based CARE, signaling a new international partnership to foster economic development, influence policy change and provide humanitarian aid for people affected by natural and man-made disasters.

It is the Blank Foundation’s first strategic international philanthropic expansion to promote positive change in people’s lives. CARE and the Blank Foundation announced the new partnership on Thursday morning.

Members receive cash during a meeting of the Mwema Haouzi Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) in Kidmini, Zanzibar, Tanzania (Special: CARE)

“We are so honored that the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation chose CARE to extend the tremendous impact they’ve made here in the U.S. to other parts of the world.” said Michelle Nunn, CARE’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Nunn said the Blank Foundation’s investment will impact more than one million women through its micro-savings programs while also ensuring that CARE can reach more people facing emergencies with life-saving assistance.

In the last year, CARE worked in 100 countries – providing life-changing support for more than 56 million people. CARE has focused its efforts on girls and women because when they are equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty.

“While historically we have focused on domestic issues, particularly here in Atlanta, we are proud to make our first major grant supporting international work to CARE – a hometown partner and global leader,” said Arthur Blank, founder and chair of his family foundation, as well as co-founder of The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD).

“I believe now, more than ever, in the value of inclusion – not just within our own nation and our own local communities – but worldwide,” Blank continued in a statement. “CARE is an incredible partner and we are excited to invest in a like-minded global organization focused on building a larger network to be our brother’s keepers throughout the world.”

The new grant will support CARE’s “Pennies to Power” program, which will bring the life-changing benefits of village savings and loan associations to 60 million members, including 50 million women and girls, by 2030. 
CARE’s headquarters in downtown Atlanta (Photo by Kelly Jordan)
CARE’s headquarters in downtown Atlanta (Photo by Kelly Jordan)

The partnership between CARE and the Blank Foundation will make transformational investments in Malawi, Tanzania, and Nigeria to help women establish and grow new enterprises, send their children to school and invest in their futures.

In addition to the $6.8 million grant, Blank also is taking a leadership volunteer role with CARE. He will serve as the honorary chair of the new Atlanta Committee for CARE, part of a nationwide network of committees working as a unified force on a shared vision of investing in women and girls as a force for global change.

CARE will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2020. As part of that milestone, CARE is convening a consortium of committed citizens to work with CARE USA to build relevant, sustainable solutions to defeat poverty, respond to humanitarian crises, ensure social justice and create a world where everyone lives with dignity and security.

It will be establishing Committees for CARE in several other U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Maria Saporta, executive editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state. From 2008 to 2020, she wrote weekly columns...

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